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Toddlers With Extra Baby Fat May be at Risk of Adult Obesity

Young children with a few extra pounds may not simply outgrow their "baby fat" as many parents believe. A new study found that more than half (60 percent) of toddlers who are overweight or obese during their preschool years are still overweight at age 12, and are at risk of becoming obese adults.

For the study, overweight was defined as children who fall in the 85th to 95th percentile of the weight-to-height ratio, obese as those in the 95th percentile. About 80 percent of children who were overweight or obese during their early school years were overweight or obese at age 12, and 40 percent of kids who were in the 50th percentile or above by age 3 were overweight or obese at 12.

If you're not sure your child is overweight, you can read these seven risk factors for childhood obesity. Most all children, and especially those who are overweight, will benefit from limiting TV time, getting plenty of exercise, and replacing sugary juices and soda with pure water.

Pediatrics September 3, 2006, Vol. 118 No. 3, pp. e594-e601

USA Today September 5, 2006